16 May 2012

Taranaki iwi give guidance to mountain users

6:55 pm on 16 May 2012

Taranaki iwi met for the first time on Wednesday with a group of mountain users to spell out cultural guidelines, including which sites on the maunga need to be treated with particular care.

Last year iwi were offended after a group hauled a couch and a barbecue up the mountain raising questions about what is culturally appropriate.

Taranaki Iwi Trust Board general manager Leeana Poutu says the introductory meeting was aimed at forming a good relationship with all users of the mountain.

She says it is not about iwi giving people a handbook of Taranaki tribal protocols which prescribes in detail what they can and can't do, it is just about having a discussion.

Ms Poutu says the mountain users will have ideas about what's appropriate and what's not and it is about sharing those ideas.

She says it is important for people to understand the cultural value iwi place on the mountain which shows respect to the environment and the spiritual connection they have with their ancestor, Mt Taranaki.